The more things change, the more they stay the same. The Memphis Grizzlies finished November at 5-10. This marks their fifth losing November in six seasons. Although, it should be expected that a young team with a first time head coach would get off to a slow start, the up and downs this Grizzlies team has had in the first 15 games are perplexing. A significant fact that can't be ignored is that in most of the games in which the Grizzlies looked good, their opponent was either on the second game of back to backs or in the midst of a road trip. The first win against Seattle we were their third opponent of three in four nights. The second win against Seattle was also the third of three in four nights. In the New Jersey win, we were the first opponent at home after a four game West coast road trip. In the Washington win, we were the fourth of four in five nights. Only our win against Houston saw us facing a relatively rested opponent and performing well. This is a trend that bears following.
Another interesting development was the emergence of Juan Carlos Navarro when the Grizzlies decided to go with the small lineup. Juan Carlos averages almost doubled as a 30+ minute per game starter. However, the downfall was the play of Grizzlies leading scorer Rudy Gay who seemed to struggle with attacking and defending bigger opponents at power forward. With Darko's return coming in December, Coach Iavaroni might look into moving Mike Miller to sixth man to reduce or eliminate the minutes Casey Jacobsen. This also allows the Grizzlies to go small, maintain, or go big by substituting Miller in for Darko/Pau, Rudy or Navarro. It really increases the flexibility of the team without hurting the confidence of Rudy or Darko while getting the most out of Navarro.
December will mark our first reader contest. The 3ShadesofBlue Memphis Grizzlies Fan of the Month contest will debut. To qualify for the contest, our readers just need to comment in eight (8) pre- or post game posts and two (2) other posts in the month of December. The comments can be a score prediction or anything else that furthers discussion (please make sure to leave your email address). The prize for December will be a Memphis Grizzlies replica Road jersey of the 3ShadesofBlue player of the month for December 2007. This contest is open to all of our readers and the jersey will be shipped worldwide (to the best of our ability). All we ask is to email us a picture of you wearing the jersey. Good luck!!!!!!!